One Step Forward in Fight to Stop Closure of MDH Facilities

Last September, Governor Hogan released his 2041 Facilities Master Plan (FMP) for the Maryland Department of Health (MDH).In the Maryland Department of Health’s “2041 Facilities Master Plan” they state one of their goals is “Identifying strategic partners to transfer services from Western Maryland Hospital Center in Hagerstown and Deer’s Head Hospital Center in Salisbury to healthcare and community providers”.  These hospitals serve chronically ill individuals and those with severe disabilities, including brain trauma patients and those with severe kidney disease.  They also provide long-term respiratory care, which is so important during COVID. Closing these facilities and subsequently privatizing them would result in a loss of over 830 state-run, licensed beds. 

AFSCME Council 3 members came together to oppose this plan by stopping funding that would have been used to begin implementation. By sending letters, testifying in person and virtually, and meeting with legislators, members were able to halt the implementation of this plan.

AFSCME was able to insert a year’s delay of the 2041 Master Facilities Plan into the adopted State budget.  In addition, no PINS were eliminated for this year from DHHC or WMHC. In the coming year, members across the Maryland Department of Health will stand together to ensure patients are prioritized over profit and that in the coming year we elect politicians who agree and are willing to take action to strengthen Maryland’s vital public services.